Tuesday 9 February 2016

The last Pike from Trumpton Dyke

“Bedtime, you little scamps!”

Eduardo the Ancient Pike was on babysitting duties. His son and daughter-in-law were out in the Southern Broads enjoying a quiet romantic weekend away and he was left in charge of the triplets. Again. A treat he looked forward to despite his advancing years.

“Tell us the story about Trumpton, Grampa! Tell us how it became a zombie village and why it’s too scary to go there! Tell us why they put the gate up! Tell us why there aren’t any boats!”

“Well, it happened in the reign of The Granny and Dr. Pikeman ...”

“Aaaaarrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!”, cried the triplets, hiding under their bed covers, “not the Granny!”

“Granny and Dr. Pikeman were geographers and they decided that landscapes were more important than people. It all went down hill from there. They also had a bad case of boat envy and decided that all boat owners should be banished. Dr. Pikeman came up with this really good trick of re-writing articles of law to suit his own needs and intentions and the rest, as they say, is history.”

“So, when the Agency for protection of wealthy developers building on flood plains decided they didn’t have enough money to replace the quay heading at Trumpton Dyke, they asked the Blessed Authority if they could take it away. Back in the day, in 2008, the Blessed ones agreed, but asked the agency to make sure the boats could still use the dyke once they got around to doing the work.”

“And then what happened?”

“Well, Granny was put in charge of the Blessed Authority and boats became unimportant. The Agency were allowed to take away one of the sides of the dyke and plant a reed edge instead. Before too long, everything slumped into the middle. Some of the bigger boats were trapped and a gate was put over the entrance to seal the dyke off completely. Granny Spokesperson (not to be confused with your fine Grandmother) became so obsessed with the reeds in Trumpton Dyke she could often be found dressed as a scarecrow chasing away imaginary geese and ducks. The subsequent zombie invasion was considered an unfortunate consequence of their actions, but as zombies were neither people nor landscape, the net result was neutral.”

“But Grampa, surely Granny and Dr, Pikeman couldn’t control all the Blessed Authority and the Members who made the decision?”

“Sadly, no-one will ever know. Hand picked, up-standing members of the community, ... once they entered within the walls of Yeorght House, they lost all sense of human decency and the ability to tell right from wrong. It’s a sad, sad story. Personally, I blame the water, never touched the stuff whenever I had to visit the place.”

“And what happened to all the boats Grampa?”

“They all went away. Thanks to Dr. Pikeman and the Granny, the area was called a National Park and all the places for the boats to go and tie up disappeared. The Blessed Authority had become greedy for money and the tolls became too expensive and the Broads got too silted and difficult to enjoy. The National Park was officially closed in 2048 as the whole area was considered unworthy of any special consideration in any shape or form.”

“Now sleep, all of you”, Eduardo the Ancient kissed his grandchildren fondly. “you’re the very last pike in the Broads and you should be proud of your heritage. Never forget and never give up.”

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